Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Bering Sea Fishermen likely had Coronavirus and went to the bar, locals have to quarantine

Unvaccinated people who visited Unalaska’s Norwegian Rat Saloon late Saturday are being asked to quarantine this week, after officials say they shared the space with fishermen who broke their company’s own quarantine plans,,, The Norwegian Rat is a popular spot for both fishermen and locals, with pool tables and shuffleboard, and it’s the closest bar to the docks used by many large fishing vessels. Saturday was margarita and taco night. >click to read< 07:50

A difficult year but Irish seafood sector showing resilience

THE country’s €1.1bn seafood sector showed resilience during 2020 in seeking alternative outlets despite severe disruptions to global markets. But the Government has been warned that rural and coastal communities, denuded by the pull of urban Ireland and the impact of Brexit and Covid-19, are facing a crisis. The Irish South and West and Fish Producers Organisation explained in a submission that the fishing industry, which employs around 16,000 people directly and indirectly, has suffered more than most other sectors from the economic impact of the pandemic.  >click to read< 07:30

Prince Edward Island lobstermen struggle through uncertain 2020 season

The fishing industry has certainly hit rough waters in the past, but the 2020 season was like few had ever seen,,, There is little doubt pandemic woes played a partial role in the fact lobster catches were down approximately 8.6 per cent compared to 2019, which was a record year. As Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the PEI Lobster Marketing Board, puts it, much of the reason for that decrease was due to the fact the spring season was delayed two weeks. Fish plants had issues with getting out-of-province workers in due to border restrictions and self-isolation policies. >click to read< 09:55

Coronavirus: Data shows pandemic landed blow on P.E.I. lobster fishery in 2020

P.E.I.’s lobster fishery in 2020 never quite recovered from a late start caused by the pandemic, although sellers were able to quickly change gears to keep export sales close to 2019 values. The P.E.I. lobster fishery had record landings in 2019, well over 40 million pounds, but landings were down 8.6 per cent in 2020, according to preliminary numbers from the provincial government. The start of the spring season was delayed two weeks,,, >click to read< 08:25

Stewart Pearson, The Lobster Man

With the weight of over 300 years of family history heaped on his shoulders, things looked grim last year at the start of lockdown, but Stewart was determined not to see his family fishing business fold on his watch. Stewart recalled that his grandfather was still fishing right up to the year before he died.,, He learned his craft working alongside his father on their boat, called Windward. He said, “when lockdown happened we couldn’t sell our lobsters to the usual merchants so I decided to start my business, The Lobster Man. “I’m sure my dad and granddad would be very happy with what we are doing now. >click to read< 09:50

Florida Spiny lobster season ends

Bill Kelly says the spiny lobster fishery is like real estate. “Location is everything,” said Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Fishermen’s Association. “We’re seeing a significant season, a good season for spiny lobster and stone crab harvest in the Upper Keys and [mainland] South Florida. We’re also seeing that in the extreme Lower Keys and down into the Marquesas and the Tortugas.” The lockdowns in China early during the pandemic didn’t help the industry either. Kelly said China buys about 80% of the live spiny lobsters, and they pay top dollar. >click to read< 11:39

Deadliest Catch: The Crab Industry Is Struggling – Will Mandy take over F/V Northwestern if Sig retires?

“Deadliest Catch” has been hinting this could possibly be the very last King Crab season. Episode 1 already shows the captains joining forces to find and catch crab since they endured many obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be the final straw for Sig. He comes from a long line of fishermen and started fishing at age 14. Sig is 54 years old. While he’s not technically considered old, he does have a slew of health issues. He’s had two heart attacks, yet fans can still see him smoking cigarettes in various “Deadliest Catch” ads. >click to read< 10:09

Despite unprecedented 2020 market losses, Maine fishermen brought in history’s 9th most valuable catch

Valued at $516.8 million, the ex-vessel value, or price paid at the dock, of Maine’s commercially harvested marine species was the ninth-highest on record. Maine’s lobster fishery once again accounted for most of the state’s overall landed value, with the lobster catch totaling $405.98 million. While the landed value was down from $491.2 million in 2019 and the 2016 peak of $540.7 million, it was the seventh straight year that the lobster fishery exceeded $400 million. Maine scallop fishermen brought ashore an additional 224,874 pounds compared to 2019, ranking the fishery as the third-most valuable, despite a 19-cent per pound decrease in value.  >click to read< 09:12

Coronavirus: Bering Sea Crabbers Push For Extended Season

A group of Bering Sea crabbers say the Coronavirus pandemic has slowed their fishing season, and they want more time to catch their quota before the state shuts down their season next week. For the few boats fishing bairdi crab this year, there could be a lot at stake if they don’t have time to catch their full quota.  “I’m thinking they don’t quite understand what we’re going through out here,” said Oystein Lone, captain of the 98-foot crab boat Pacific Sounder, which is based out of Dutch Harbor.  >click to read< 07:55

Selling Direct to the Public: What looked like disaster for Haworth Fish Co. has turned into new business

After a week at sea, Nick Haworth returned to port with 30,000 pounds of big eye tuna and opah aboard Kaylee H,,, Having been hundreds of miles offshore, the crew had not heard the news: On March 17, 2020, fearing a surge of coronavirus cases, the county health department shut down all indoor dining, instantly destroying the restaurant industry’s appetite for the fresh investment sitting on ice below deck in the fishing boat’s hold. “We had nowhere to sell our catch,,, photos, >click to read<,09:17

Bering Sea Island’s Fuel Shortage Forces Crabbers South To Refuel – “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this,,,

The Coronavirus pandemic has already disrupted Alaska’s winter Bering Sea fishing seasons, closing plants and adding quarantine related complications for crews. St. Paul, one of the Pribilof Islands, announced the gas ration late last month after bad weather canceled the arrival of a fuel barge, and fishermen say it’s forcing them into days-long detours for refueling. “I seem to remember we had some rations, years back, but it was nothing like this,” Oystein Lone, the captain of a 98-foot crab boat, He and his five-person crew on the F/V Pacific Sounder just started fishing for bairdi, also known as tanner crab, on the eastern side of the Pribilof Islands in the middle of the Bering Sea. >click to read<10:03

Tasmania: Seafood, rock lobster industry receives state government relief package

Hundreds of struggling fishers, who have been hard hit in recent months, have received a much-needed cash relief. The state government announced a fee relief package of $663,000 for rock lobster and other commercial wild fishers. Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council’s chief executive Julian Harrington said the seafood industry, even more so, the rock lobster industry, were still recovering from the impacts of Coronavirus. “Cash flow margins for fishermen are very narrow and any financial support and fee relief is welcomed.” >click to read< 13:26

Coronavirus: UK Fishing industry shrank ‘dramatically’ during pandemic

Activity fell sharply in Britain and China in 2020 but increased in US, Japan and South Korea. In a year of unprecedented decline, the UK and China saw the most “dramatic declines” in fishing activity,, In Britain, whose fishing industry was badly hit by storms in the months before the pandemic, there was a drop,,, while in China there was a fall,, . Fishing activity also decreased in Italy, Spain, France and Norway, mostly in the first months of 2020. Early on in the pandemic, boats were tied up and many workers in the Scottish fishing industry were forced to use food banks as export demand fell, restaurants were closed and lockdown restrictions were introduced all over the UK. >click to read< 16:02

Deadliest Catch season 17 – What a Time to be Alive!

In season 17, Discovery says that “half the crab boats of the Bering Sea fleet are tied up in Seattle” while “an existential threat faces the fishermen who make the long-haul trip to Dutch Harbor, Alaska,” because they face “a potential closure of the entire fishery” for the 2021 season. The crab survey conducted during the summer by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game didn’t happen because of C0VID-19, and that means “the captains will be fishing blind with no charts or guidance on where to find crab on the grounds, making an already challenging season even more difficult,” short trailer, >click to read< 10:03

NJ Fishing Community Says Coronavirus Aid Helped Keep Them Afloat

With New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry about to receive a second round of federal coronavirus aid, boat owners and those who run fishing-related businesses say the extra money is helping keep them afloat amid a sea of red ink. The state’s fishing industry received $11 million last March under the CARES Act, an early aid bill passed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. And it should get roughly the same amount under a second bill passed by Congress in December.,, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. said Monday. Pallone held a news conference Monday at the Belford Seafood Cooperative in Middletown with boat owners and those who run related businesses. >click to read< 10:24

The Alaska Wilderness Prepared Me For Coronavirus

Every summer I make the long trip up to Naknek, Alaska — an outpost of human settlement among the tundra, volcanoes, and wildlife of southwestern Alaska to be part of the commercial sockeye salmon fishing season in Bristol Bay. From the airport at King Salmon, we drive the lonely stretch of pavement a half hour north, to the boatyard in which the Epick, a 32-foot-long, aluminum-hulled gillnetter that I call home for several weeks out of the year, resides through the winter. My crew and I prep the boat and put her in the water, where we make use of the abundance of daylight typical to Alaskan summers to try and catch as many salmon as possible. >click to read< 11:47

Maryland oyster industry may be forever altered by Coronavirus pandemic

The pandemic-impacted oyster season has been difficult for the industry in Maryland, causing farmers and watermen to rethink how they sell their product and changing how programs conduct oyster restoration. Robert Brown, waterman and oyster grower, has bottom oyster leases on the tributaries of the Potomac River. Brown, president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, said he sells the majority of his oysters to oyster packaging houses, which aren’t working at capacity because they can’t sell the oysters once they shuck them. Watermen are being hit hard in the pandemic, and it might be a few years before we get back to normal,,, >click to read< 08:36

Festival that supports the Bodega Bay fishing fleet missing community

Since 1973 the Bodega Bay community has hosted an annual Fisherman’s Festival,, The blessing of the Fishing Fleet is the highlight of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival. These solemn annual blessings had their start more than 50 years ago when the event was part of the “Discovery Days Celebration”,,, It is with much regret that we cancel the 2021 edition of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival (as well as our 2020 festival). While we remain hopeful that Sonoma County continues to gain ground against the coronavirus threat, at this moment hosting the festival on its traditional Spring date creates too great of a risk for our volunteers, vendors, and guests. >click to read< 15:32

Oregon Health Authority pulls social distancing ad which depicts fishermen tossing a man overboard

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has pulled an ad that depicted a crew of fishermen throwing a man overboard in a life raft in order to practice safe social distancing. The ad did not sit right with some in the coastal community of Newport and their mayor spoke up about it. In a letter to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Tuesday,  Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer asked that the OHA immediately take down the ad.  Sawyer goes on to say that a crew member of a ship going overboard “should not be joked about by the Oregon Health Authority,” and that the commercial “brings back terrible memories” to Newport families that have lost a loved one to sea. Watch the stupid video! >click to read< 08:07

Trident reopens Akutan processing plant after month-long Coronavirus closure

An outbreak at the plant forced the fishing giant to close the facility in late January just as the lucrative winter season was set to kick off. In the course of the outbreak, 45% of Trident’s 700-person workforce ultimately tested positive for the virus, company officials said Monday. Multiple rounds of comprehensive testing brought welcome news last week that COVID-19 cases had been isolated on site, Trident said in a statement. Surveillance testing, symptom screenings and the use of PPE and distancing protocols will remain throughout the season. >click to read< 17:40

U.S. lobster exports to China rebounded in 2020

While the coronavirus pandemic tanked U.S. lobster exports overall in 2020, international trade data suggests the industry’s once-thriving U.S. to China trade pipeline may be making a comeback.  International sales of U.S. lobster fell by 22 percent last year, from $548.4 million in 2019 to $426.9 million in 2020. The market saw declines in sales to each of the country’s top 10 international buyers, with the notable exception of China, which bought more than $127 million of U.S. lobster, or a roughly 49 percent increase over 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. >click to read< 10:34

‘Wicked Tuna’ rivalry gives way to cooperation

The coronavirus pandemic’s tidal wave of challenges made its way to the high seas, and viewers of “Wicked Tuna” will see a new dynamic when the 10th season opens with a 90-minute premiere Sunday at 9 p.m. The show is known for following Gloucester fishermen in the highly competitive hunt for giant bluefin tuna and the race back to shore in search of the highest price,,, That is until COVID-19 prompted a business shutdown nearly a year ago, with restaurants shuttered or operating at a fraction of their capacity. The market and demand for the usually lucrative bluefin sank. “It was great to see fishermen working together with buyers to do the best we could in these difficult times,” said Capt. Dave Marciano,,, >click to read< 14:03

The Coronavirus pandemic could change U.S. fisheries forever. Will it be for better or for worse?!

The first symptoms appeared long before Covid-19 gained a stronghold on U.S. shores, as China went into its first lockdown and a critical export market disappeared overnight,,, Then as social distancing rules kicked in here, another major organ of the U.S. supply chain, restaurants, where most seafood purchases are made, fell limp.  Many fishermen across the country have pivoted to direct-marketing models by selling their catch off their boats,,, To many in the food industry, the pandemic’s impact has exposed the fundamental vulnerabilities of a system that has long favored efficiency over resilience.  >click to read< 09:48

Big news for a major Michigan industry: commercial fishing.

Changes to the rulebook in January had fisheries warning the fresh catch may soon come from Canada. The DNR is now walking back those rules, requiring fishermen to cast their nets in water under 80 feet and suspending part of the whitefish season,,, “Everyone’s ecstatic.” A reversal from the DNR, effectively lifting the depth and seasonal restrictions the Williams’ and other commercial fisheries argue had upended their ability to make a living, means it’s now back to business as usual. >click to read< 07:42

Michigan House Bills Ban Commercial Perch Fishing on Great Lakes – Lakon Williams of the Bay Port Fish Co. expressed her concern. The company nets whitefish and perch in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. >click to read<

Tough times felt by renowned Port Townsend lutefisk business

Scott Kimmel, owner of Port Townsend’s New Day Fisheries, says COVID-19 has caused his lutefisk operation to take a nosedive. But the pandemic isn’t solely to blame for a downward trend,,, Lutefisk is dried cod that has been rehydrated in a lye solution before being boiled or baked,, It is perhaps more-aptly described as a traditional Scandinavian dish which either strikes mortal fear into the hearts of those who’ve known it,,, It just depends on who you ask. But as Kimmel’s lutefisk sales show, most folks these days probably fall into that former category. “Our sales have been declining for years and years just because our customers have been passing away and the younger generation’s not picking up the slack,” Kimmel said. “So, it’s a dying business, is what that is. >click to read<13:19

Coronavirus: Why the Lunar New Year matters for Maine lobster shippers

The Lunar New Year is typically one of the busiest parts of the calendar for America’s lobster shippers, who send millions of dollars worth of the crustaceans to China every year. This year the holiday is Friday, and industry members said the Year of the Ox won’t necessarily be the Year of the Lobster. That’s because shipping has been complicated this winter by the threat of the virus. Mike Marceau, vice president of The Lobster Company in Arundel, Maine, said he isn’t expecting much in the way of exports. >click to read< 08:44

Coronavirus: Unalaska fish processing plant reopens after outbreak forces monthlong shutdown

The reopening is a bright spot for the Bering Sea fishing industry, which has been hampered by COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple boats and onshore plants. UniSea’s processing plant has a year-round workforce, and its facility handles multiple species from cod to crab. The pollock season opened Jan. 20 but the 11 boats that typically deliver their catch to UniSea have been able to hold off, That’s because the pollock fishery operates as a cooperative, where vessels have a fixed quota of fish they can catch and deliver to a specific plant.  “Our fleet have been extremely supportive of our situation and patient with our reopening schedule,” Enlow said. “But they, like UniSea, are anxious to get the season started.” >click to read< 08:32

California lobstermen ride high-price wave from China

Since it became home to California’s first lobster fishery in the early 1870s, the coastal city of Santa Barbara has established a long and proud history of lobster fishing. The industry is now experiencing a surge in demand because of a trade war between nations that are thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. Almost all of the lobsters caught in the waters off of Santa Barbara’s coast this season will end up in China, where an ongoing dispute with Australia has worked to the advantage of California’s lobster fishing community. The surge in demand from Chinese markets has resulted in high prices that fishermen and distributors here say are without precedent, as well as plenty of uncertainty. >click to read< 08:36

20 crew members on vessel in Dutch Harbor test positive for COVID-19 in latest seafood industry outbreak

A factory trawler joined a growing list of seafood processors and vessels in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands that have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks recently. Twenty members of the 40-member crew on the factory trawler Araho, owned by the O’Hara Corp., tested positive for the virus, the City of Unalaska said Friday. Upon arrival in Unalaska from Seattle on Wednesday night, a couple of crew members reported symptoms of COVID-19, according to Unalaska city manager Erin Reinders, who said testing began when the vessel arrived. >click to read< 19:46

Coronavirus relief: N.J.’s sinking fishing industry nabs $11M life raft from state

Nearly a year after being approved by federal lawmakers, financial relief is being handed out to New Jersey’s battered fishing industry. Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced Friday that $11.3 million in grants are being distributed to Garden State fishermen, and the businesses that support them. The relief money was part of the $2 trillion CARES Act which was passed by Congress and signed by former President Donald Trump in March. >click to read< 09:47